With that, the AI’s representation flickered and was replaced by a map immediately familiar to Harking. The chaotic, bifurcating clump of nodes and hubs was the pseudo-random arrangement of the Interlink, a galaxy-spanning distributed processing and communications network.
The Interlink encompassed tens of thousands of disparate points, covering nearly a third of explored space, and while it was far from the largest of such technologies, it was the only one that most factions trusted.
“It is known to This One that many mapped nodes on the Galactic Information Exchange Interlink are either misrepresented or on the whole entirely fictitious. This naturally indicates that some are hidden from public view – like these.”
This One appeared beside it and gestured. Harking estimated that half the map disappeared outright, while new paths and branches appeared where previously there had been none.
“Many of these nodes are abandoned or damaged. However, some are still functional – and hold restricted data.”